The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is deeply disappointed with the Government’s draft marine park plan for south east Australia released today.
Kate Davey, AMCS Director said “The Government’s draft marine parks released today fails to protect Australia’s spectacular marine biodiversity in our southern oceans. Conservationists are deeply disappointed with this proposal and call for the maps to be radically changed before they are finalised.”
“This is an opportunity for the Government to show international leadership, as we did with the Great Barrier Reef by protecting a third of it in fully protected areas. What we are getting today is a very weak second cousin. The south east is worth more than that,” Ms Davey continued.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society and Tasmania Conservation Trust recently released a map outlining a candidate network of 11 multi-zoned marine protected areas for south-east Australia (see hyperlink below).
Ms Davey continued, “The Government has failed to meet the public’s expectations. Instead of being offered something reasonable, we are being offered a pathetic 6% of our southern oceans in fully protected areas.
Craig Bohm, AMCS National Fisheries Campaigner, who has extensive experience in working in fisheries the south east, said, “These marine parks mostly occur over the abyssal plain and other areas where there is no fishing and very few fish. The proposed marine parks will be good for protecting rocks and burrowing worms living on the deep abyssal plain.”
“Shockingly, not much else would be protected because the marine parks avoid virtually all biologically productive areas and even protect areas, like the South Tasman Rise, that have already been bulldozed by trawlers,” Bohm continued.
The Australian Government has also put up a $220M fisheries reform package to help implement this MPA network, and other fisheries reforms that are needed.
“This is a huge missed opportunity, if we are not careful, this process will just be a great waste of taxpayers’ money. We expect Government leadership on marine protection, but so far all we are getting is pandering to the fishing industry”, Ms Davey concluded.
Visit here to view the recently released AMCS MPA map.
Kate Davey, AMCS Director ph: 0409 98 68 97 and (07) 3393 5811
Craig Bohm, AMCS National Fisheries Campaigner Ph: 0427 133 481 and (07) 3393 5875